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Outland Blu-ray

United States
Warner Bros. | 1981 | 109 min | Rated R | Jul 10, 2012

Outland (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (17.95 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
French: Dolby Digital 2.0
German: Dolby Digital 2.0
Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Note: Spanish DD 2.0 dubbed in ...

English SDH, French, Spanish, Japanese, German SDH, Danish, Dutch, Finnish… (more)

25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)

Region free

List price: $19.98, Price history

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Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.3 of 54.3
Audio 4.0 of 54.0
Extras 3.2 of 53.2
Based on 6 user reviews

Movie appeal




Outland Blu-ray delivers stunning video and great audio in this excellent Blu-ray release

Io, Jupiter's innermost moon, hosts mining colony Con-Am 27, a high-tech hellhole. There a veteran marshal probes some mysterious deaths of miners.

For more about Outland and the Outland Blu-ray release, see Outland Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.

Director: Peter Hyams
Writer: Peter Hyams
Starring: Sean Connery, Peter Boyle (I), Frances Sternhagen, Clarke Peters, Steven Berkoff, John Ratzenberger

» See full cast & crew

Outland Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

Seldom has the usual claim that "the Blu-ray looks better than the DVD" been less relevant than in the case of Outland. The DVD of Outland was one of the nadirs of that format, with a soft, noisy image beset by aliasing and interference. It routinely topped lists of DVDs in need of new transfers and remastering. Almost anything would look "better". Well, there's a new transfer at last, it's on Blu-ray, and the DVD has been rendered irrelevant (except, maybe, as landfill).

Hyams has done his own cinematography for most of his career, and as he makes clear on the commentary track, he was closely involved in the cinematography for Outland, for which the credited cinematographer is Stephen Goldblatt. Hyams is famous (and often cursed) for his dark images. On the Blu-ray's commentary, he mocks his IMDb bio, which claims that he likes to shoot in "natural light levels". What he likes, he says, is to be on a soundstage (all of Outland was shot at Pinewood Studios), where none of the light is natural and all of it can be controlled. When Hyams plunges large portions of the frame into darkness or shadow, it represents a deliberate choice on his part. One can disagree with the choice aesthetically, but it has nothing to do with "natural light".

To accurately represent Hyams' preferred style of lighting, an image must have true blacks, and Warner's 1080p, AVC-encoded Blu-ray delivers, a feature that becomes immediately evident in the opening establishing shots of the Io mining facility, where detail on the elaborately crafted miniatures can be made out even when they are only slightly illuminated against the optically superimposed background plates of starfields and the planet Jupiter. The same level of detail is evident in the non-FX shots of the miners' working and living facilties, or the O'Niels' living quarters, or the marshall's office, where tools, files, personal items and other assorted objects are randomly strewn about, as they would be in the terrestrial equivalent of such places. All of this is visible without noise or interference, just a light pattern of film grain that you have to pay special attention to see, because it's well controlled.

Colors are extremely vivid when called for, whether it's the bloody red of injuries, or the bright green of the facility's greenhouse (where one "bushwacker" goes looking for his victim), or the blue of the law enforcement uniforms, which contrast sharply with bright whites in the marshall's service offices and also the infirmary.

Someone somewhere will probably claim "DNR", because somebody always does, but in fact there is no evidence of detail-stripping or degraining on this transfer, nor is there any indication of artificial sharpening. Nor did I notice any compression artifacts. The darkness of Hyams' photographic style and the softness inherent in pre-CG FX may give pause to some viewers, but this Blu-ray accurately represents the film Outland as it was made and seen in 1981 (I saw it multiple times). My score of 4.5 is based on the disc's fidelity to the original image. For those who insist on scoring it differently, please at least say why.

Outland Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  4.0 of 5

In addition to Dolby Stereo on standard prints, Outland was released on a 70mm blow-up with six-track sound. The latter had "Megasound", a short-lived enhancement by Warner that did something similar to, but more limited than, the LFE channel in today's 5.1 and 7.1 formats. Hyams notes in the commentary that his main interest in the 70mm format was its sonic superiority. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track on the Blu-ray is presumably sourced from this original six-track mix, because it certainly doesn't sound like one of the half-hearted remixes we typically get when stereo soundtracks from this era are repurposed for 5.1. This track has genuinely immersive surround ambiance for large environments like the colony saloon or the miners' barracks or the depot where the miners suit up before descending into the mine.

Bass extension for such scenes as the shuttle landing is deep and powerful, and it doesn't have the artificial character of something added later; it feels organically part of the original soundtrack. Dialogue is very clear, and the late Jerry Goldsmith's excellent score, which obviously evokes his own score for Alien but also looks forward in some respects to themes he would use nine years later in Total Recall (the original), is nicely woven into the mix so that it doesn't overwhelm the rest of the inventive sound design (the film's sound was nominated for an Oscar).

(Note: A poster in the forum suggested the possibility of a sound mastering error, based on a single instance of hearing a sound in the left speaker when the action was occurring on the right. No time mark was provided, and I did not encounter any such phenomenon. In general, sounds appeared to me to match up with the image.)

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Outland Blu-ray, News and Updates

This Week on Blu-ray: July 10-17 - July 8, 2012

For many cinephiles, the most exciting Blu-ray release this week comes courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox's Margaret disc. The story of a Manhattan teenager (True Blood's Anna Paquin) forced to cope with sudden, violent tragedy, filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan's follow-up ...

Warner SF, Thrillers on Blu-ray (Updated) - March 22, 2012

This summer, Warner Home Entertainment will continue transferring its library catalog onto the HD format. The studio will release Blu-rays for sixteen popular thrillers, including The Butterfly Effect, Coma, Hard to Kill, Next of Kin, Outland, and the Blu-ray ...

Outland Blu-ray - March 21, 2012

The German branch of Warner Brothers has revealed that it is planning to release on Blu-ray director Peter Hyams' Outland (1981), starring Sean Connery, Frances Sternhagen and Peter Boyle. The preliminary release date set by the studio is July 20th.

» Show more related news posts for Outland Blu-ray

Outland Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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Outland (1981) July 10,2012 Review (

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